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by Nicole Carvalho, staff writer

 

Case’s challenge to a respected incumbent is controversial and has roiled the waters of Hawai‘i’s political establishment. His casual acceptance of Akaka’s apology was typical Case, unflappable and charismatic, but it included a comment that this was not the first time that Akaka had failed to make an appearance. Case said he hopes to one day seriously address the issues in a formal debate with the senator, and he proceeded to engage those present--students, guests, and media--on pertinent issues in the 2006 senatorial election.

Case mentioned that it was a bold move to run against a seasoned and well-established incumbent like Akaka, but he is in this race because the stakes are high and the nation faces serious issues on war, the environment, and social security reform. “ If you decide change is necessary, then do it already,” Case said.

He is running as a democratic candidate in a party that has a well-established culture and tradition that needs to be adjusted and refined. And Case believes, as he said, that “The political culture of our Hawai‘i is broken.”

Case was asked if he thought that the article in Time magazine that identified Senator Akaka as one of the five worst senators was going to help him in the coming election. He said that an article of that nature, in a magazine such as Time, could not be good for Akaka, and he believes that it will have a positive effect on his ability to garner democratic votes from traditional party loyalist that may be frustrated with the “politics as usual” syndrome.

The event was organized by the College of International Studies as part of an HPU political science course, The American Political System. According to the announcement that opened it to the public, the event was not intended to be a formal debate, but rather “a chance for students and faculty to hear from two important elected officials, Rep. Case and Senator Akaka, and to have a conversation about important public policy issues facing Hawai‘i.”

 
 

 

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